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Social issues in the occupied territories are almost entirely absent from Ukrainian media – IMI expert

08.12.2023, 13:49

The already scant reporting on the temporarily occupied territories in the Ukrainian media includes only 3% of reporting on social issues. This is mostly due to the difficulty of obtaining and verifying data, as well as self-censorship, says the Institute of Mass Information, Olena Golub, commenting her new study on Ukrainian media covering the temporarily occupied territories on Hromadske Radio on December 7.

"The total amount of news about the TOT is small, and only 3% of this amount was related to social issues. The information that is most important for the people in the occupied territories is effectively absent from the national Ukrainian media, although it is this information that is of primary interest to the residents of the TOT. If we want these people to follow Ukrainian media and trust them, if we want Ukrainian media to be interesting to them, accordingly, the percentage of such information should increase," said the IMI expert.

According to Golub, the insufficient amount of news on social issues is caused by the lack of an opportunity to obtain and verify information and self-silencing.

"We have to integrate people from the TOT into Ukrainian society, which can happen through interest in Ukrainian media. But if there is nothing about them there, these media will never be interesting for them. We want to read about ourselves," she added.

Earlier, Olena Golub said that the share of reporting on the occupied territories in Ukrainian online media is 3.25%. At the same time, the vast majority of this reporting is statements by officials and information about UAF air strikes on Russian facilities.

Most of the information comes from occupied Crimea (66% of the total amount of news about the TOT), with occupied part of Donetsk oblast accounting for 14% of the content. 8% of the news is about the occupied regions of Kherson oblast, and 6% of the content is about the occupied parts of Zaporizhzhia and Luhansk oblasts.

Ukrainian official structures, such as the UAF General Staff and its spokespersons, the Ministry of Defense, and representatives of local authorities, are sources for 40% of the news about the occupied oblasts. At the same time, 12% of news cite Russian sources. Ukrainian media take an equal amount of information from international sources. Social media also account for 12% of information. Ukrainian media cite experts in 9% of the news.

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